Category: Kids

Fun July 4th Activities

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Holy Hotness! I will not complain about the weather because I prefer hot over the outrageously cold winter we had this year. It is mighty steamy out, though. Today I want to share with you some fun activities you can do around the house when the day is at its hottest.

This activity I found on the Mailbox Facebook page. It seems super easy, especially for little ones. I was thinking of using a large index card for the flag shape. I then want to write in blue and red marker the color names so my son can see the color and know which cotton ball goes where on the paper. (I know it sounds great written down. I’m sure I will be coaching a lot. It is all about the modeling, though :). )

Another cute Independence Day art project are these patriotic stars for the lawn. The directions say you can use toothpicks to make a design on the star and then spray paint over it. I might just cut out a star shape and use washable paint. For the older kids the toothpicks might be a more exciting option.

These frozen watermelon pops seem super easy and extremely refreshing on a hot summer day.

Hopefully these ideas will make the days leading up to July 4th an exciting one! And don’t forget to let your little ones know why we celebrate this special day. It isn’t all about the fireworks :).

Let us know of any patriotic activities you do with your kids :). Comment below!

Who doesn’t enjoy all things free?!

Happy July 1st! Summer is definitely in full swing now!

I know during the summer many families enjoy taking vacations. I know we do! What better way to book a vacation then to find some free places to go while you are at your destination!! Yes, I said FREE! I was reading the July issue of Parents Magazine and came across a great article. It outlined free destinations in all 50 states.

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I love sharing all things free. Maybe one of these attractions is close to your home. That is always perfect since you won’t need lodging. Perhaps one is close to where you will be staying on vacation. It is a win-win all around. Here is to a fabulous summer and to even more fabulous FREE attractions!

If you know of a free attraction near you, comment below. I am sure everyone would love some free ideas! :).

A great website resource for moms (and teachers too!)

Today’s post will be a short one.

I wanted to share with you a site I use for many projects I do with my son or once did with my students. It is called DLTK Kids. You can find almost anything. I find projects to do with my little one, cards I can print out in a jiffy, and I even found gift tags to put on presents. It is so simple and the patterns are cute. Plus, it is all completely FREE!

Here is an example of gift tags you can use for Fourth of July (it only saved the picture. But you get the picture.):

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You can also get certificates to reward your little ones with any good deed or accomplishment :). I hope you liked my sharing post for today! :)

You can also contact me at themrszfiles@gmail.com.

Any type of mom is a wonderful mom!

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I know this is a topic that has been discussed consistently. However, when it comes to working moms and stay at home moms, my motto is: We all need to stick together!

The idea for today’s post came from this article. It is a letter from a stay at home mom to a working mom and then vice versa. Each letter had such a powerful message in it. The stigma of both types of moms needs to be eradicated. Mostly, people need to mind their own business.

I am a stay at home mom, by choice, and I cannot tell you the countless times I have had people say things to my face that make my blood boil. I do not know if they are said as a joke or they are serious. People need to think before they speak. No, I do not have time to get manicures and pedicures all the time (I just got one this weekend and it was the first time since December. No joke!). I do not have time to catch up on my DVR during the day (My DVR is actually at almost full capacity from not being able to watch my favorites). My house is not the tidiest (It is clean but there are certainly things everywhere). My time is very limited. It is all about my love!

Now, with that being said, I have been in the presence of women who are working moms and I have overheard people making comments about that. One of the classics is “Oh, don’t you hate leaving them with someone else all week long?”. The person asking the question has this look of sorrow on their face. Umm, I think working moms think this all the time. Why don’t you rub it in their face even more. (If you can’t guess, that was pure sarcasm.) Another one is “You must love being at work. At least you get some time to yourself.” While I am not saying this is a false statement, I am sure most working moms would rather be with their little ones. I heard this one time and I almost had to laugh because the person was dead serious:”At least you only have to spend a few hours being mommy. Then you get the rest of the night to yourself.”. Really? I stood there with my mouth open. How can anyone say that to a working mom? Unbelievable!

A common phrase comes to mind: Think before you speak. Everyone makes their own decision to be either a stay at home or a working mother. The rest of the world does not need to make their decision any harder than it has to be. To all of you moms, no matter what course in life you choose, you are doing a wonderful job. And your children will thank you one day for it. That is the only thing that matters.

Just a little R&R with the Great Wolf

Wow! It has been a while since my last post!  I hope everyone has been enjoying this gorgeous weather! The reason for my hiatus was a wonderful family trip!

Today I want to let you know of one of the best family vacation places I have ever been to. We took our little guy to The Great Wolf Lodge in Pennsylvania. There are 12 locations throughout the United States, so it is accessible to everyone. The Great Wolf Lodge is an indoor water park. I definitely recommend it for anyone with kids 15 and younger. Older teens and adults can go as well, however, it will probably hold the younger sets interest longer.

My first impression of The Great Wolf Lodge was how clean it is. Now, for fellow germ freaks, this is high on our list when choosing a place to vacation. I looked high and low and I could find very little dirt and just over all grossness. (One part that did bother me was walking barefoot in the pool area. That is my own problem, though, and not something I would attribute to the lodge. I need to get pool shoes next time!!)

If you have little ones between the ages of 1 and 10 then you should look no further because this is the place for you! There are so many activities to do with them during your stay. In the waterpark that I mentioned before there is a wave pool where waves are created every 5 minutes (if you stay near the “shore”, the waves are very minimal). They also have a lazy river, slides of different heights, and a kiddie spray pool that is no more than 2 feet deep. If you get tired of the waterpark, there are so many activities planned throughout the day. They have characters walk around the resort 3 times a day. In the lobby there are bingo games, balloon shape makers, and face painting 2 or 3 times a day. At night, the resort has a show with the main characters of the resort and a bed time story is read after the show. They have shows at 8 and 9 p.m.

The resort even has different level passes you can buy. These passes allow your little ones to enjoy all of the amenities of the resort at a lower cost to you! We got the Pup Pass, which is great for kids 5 and younger. My little one got to create his own stuffed Bear (think Build-A-Bear), we colored a T-shirt (and by we, I mean my husband and I). He also got a pair of goggles  and a few smaller treats. This was all for $39.99. I believe the bear alone was $39.99. So all in all, it was a great deal! They have more expensive passes and they are more ideal for the older set.

I have just one negative thing to say about this place. The price of food at the Loose Moose Cottage (basically their only restaurant to sit and eat) was pretty expensive. For the 3 of us to eat at the buffet style restaurant, it cost $60. That was definitely costly. I know food is pretty expensive at most resorts, so it is not like they are more expensive than other places. They are just too expensive for me :). The following night we found a Friendly’s a mile away and had breakfast and dinner there. They also have little places to get burgers, chicken fingers, and fries near the pools. We ordered that for lunch both days.

I hope you decide to spend a few days at a Great Wolf Lodge near you! I also recommend staying just 2 or 3 nights. It gives you a chance to see everything and not have a complete meltdown from your little ones! Comment or email me if you have any questions :).

Here are some pictures of the resort. Enjoy!

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Say no to bumper stickers!

Some may think I am crazy for saying this but I do not like using bumper stickers on my car. First of all, it leaves a residue on the car if you ever want to take it off. My second reason is where people think I am a little insane. I feel it gives out personal information. For example, the sticker figures that show how many people and/or pets are in your family. I don’t need someone knowing how many children I have. Even bumper stickers that show your child’s school or if they made honor roll. Again, to me, that is too much information for people I do not know.

family-stick-figure-sticker  Not only does this show who is in your family, but it shows their hobbies. Way too much information!

Then, I saw this on the news the other day. Police are urging people to not put bumper stickers on their cars!!! Because it gives away too much information to people who might want to target you for a crime!!! It makes me feel a little better knowing I’m not the only person who feels this way. You may be thinking to yourself, “Well, she has a blog. She already gives out too much information.” I only reveal my opinions and super fun activities. I do not give any of my personal information.  I am actually a very private person.

So, just remember, it is a warning. However, a good warning to keep in mind.

You can contact me at themrszfiles@gmail.com.

Social media…what has it become?!

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Facebook. Twitter. Whatever else is out there. Social media has gripped human society so tightly. For some reason we have all become voyeuristic  of each other’s lives. Gone are the days of the phone call or a handwritten letter. When my phone rings I barely recognize the sound since I hardly hear it. That is a really sad commentary.

For most of us in our 30s and older, we had a childhood free of social media. We lived in a world where you had to use pay phones to call someone or to respond to a beep. We lived in a hashtag free world (unless you were copying down your homework and needed to know which problems to do). Our childhood and adolescence were free of being tied down to a mobile device to get our latest news. Was there bullying? Yes! I can definitely be honest and say that I was bullied quite a few times in my younger years. However, the idea of bullying has been taken to the next level.

This article was so eye opening and scary at the same time. Bullying is on the rise. Suicides in young teens is on the rise. There is a section of the article that talks about a young man who was being treated for depression. He later went to a site that explained how to commit suicide and then he did. How horrific! This poor soul just needed help. But social media and the internet had a negative impact on his cry for help.

I fear for my son when he gets older. I do not want his life to be ruled by a social media account. I don’t want him to think that the number of friends you have on Facebook tells him how important he is. I don’t want him to take someone’s status and think that what someone else has to say is the truth. I want him to live in a world where people are unique and are free to express that uniqueness.  I would be lying if I said I never used any social media. At one point I was constantly on one form of social media that it consumed my life. I have definitely stepped back and have tried to become more digital free. It is definitely an addiction that, if not taken control of, will spiral out of control and make society a bunch of useless robots who just stare at a screen.

Those who use social media to attack others and to spread hatred should be held 100% responsible for their actions. They need to know that what they are doing is wrong and that it is a coward’s way. The old adage ” If you don’t have something nice to say, then don’t say it at all” definitely is important in this day and age. Children need to be taught young that bullying and hatred are wrong. Unfortunately, children are a product of their parents. It all starts as us, the parents, to be good examples. To show them how to be decent people.

I know it is very hard not to be connected in our daily lives. With work and day to day activities, we need to have some source of communication with the outside. However, I think we all need to start putting aside a few hours a day where we have real conversations. Perhaps starting at the dinner table. Discuss the day’s events. Bring up something new you might have learned. Compliment someone around you. I think it will have a huge effect in the long run.  Getting to know your children ( and your children getting to know you) is the first step in this whole process. Be open with each other. Talk and listen. It is, perhaps, our only saving grace.

Tell us how you try to become digital free. Comment below!

You can also contact me at themrszfiles@gmail.com.

A sweet moment

I’m a little late to the game but how sweet was Kevin Durant’s MVP speech?!  Here is an excerpt in case you missed it:

“I don’t think you know what you did. You had my brother when you were 18 years old. Three years later I came out. The odds were stacked against him. Single parent with two boys by the time you were 21 years old.

“Everybody told us we weren’t supposed to be here. We moved from apartment to apartment by ourselves. One of the best memories I have is when we moved into our first apartment. No bed, no furniture, and we just all sat in the living room and hugged each other because we thought we made it.

“When something good happens to you, I don’t know about you guys, but I tend to look back to what brought me here. You woke me up in the middle of the night in the summer times. Making me run up a hill. Making me do push-ups. Screaming at me from the sidelines at my games at eight or nine years old.

“We weren’t supposed to be here. You made us believe. You kept us off the street, put clothes on our backs, food on the table. When you didn’t eat, you made sure we ate. You went to sleep hungry. You sacrificed for us. You’re the real MVP.”   –Kevin Durant

 

I have been looking at it through many perspectives.
As a child, you have many fears and worries as a kid. But having the constant support and foundation of a parent, whether it be one ir two, is extremely important.
As a mother, to hear those words after years of comfort, years of worry, years of fears.  Those words mean the world. They bring you back to those moments you held your little one on the couch and looked into their infant eyes. You promised them the world. And one day the world gave back to them.
After hearing Kevin Durant speak, he is the type of guy you want your daughter to marry. And the type of man you want your son to grow up to be.  He is such a great role model for young people to look up to. It’s very refreshing in a world where media and ugliness tends to take hold.

What are your thoughts on his comments?  Comment below!

You can contact me at themrszfiles@gmail.com.

You can have your cake (err…Goldfish) and eat it too!

Goldfish-Crackers

I finally made homemade Goldfish! I wrote this post over a month ago and just found the time to make Goldfish this weekend. It was such a simple recipe and they tasted delicious! ( I made these three days ago and they are pretty much gone.)

There are five ingredients for this recipe. You will need:

  • 8 ounces, weight Sharp Cheddar Cheese, Shredded
  • 4 Tablespoons Butter, Cut Into Cubes
  • 1 cup Flour
  • ¾ teaspoons Salt
  • 2 Tablespoons Cold Water

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The directions say to use a food processor and mix all of the ingredients, except the water, together until it looks like coarse sand. I used my stand mixer and it still came out like the described texture. When it came time to add the water, the pictures show the mixture to look like a ball of dough. Mine was still sandy and loose. I’m not sure if that has to do with using the mixer or not. However, I was able to shape the ingredients together in plastic wrap and refrigerate it.

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When it came time to roll the dough out, it was still loose on the edges.  But I was able to work around that. I used 2 inch cookie cutters because it was the smallest I had. They suggested using the aluminum from a soda can to make a shape.( I do not have soda cans in the house. Nor would I be able to fashion a fish shape. I am definitely not that crafty.) Every time I made shapes and ran out of places to make more crackers, I would just roll everything back together and roll out the dough again. The coarseness of the dough eventually went away.

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I was able to make about 70 crackers. If the cookie cutter was smaller, the dough would probably make around 100 crackers. I also would make the dough thinner when I rolled it out. The crackers tasted just like a real Goldfish. However, they were a little soft in the middle. I missed the crunchy effect!

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All in all I would say this recipe deserves two thumbs up! It was very easy to follow and took less than an hour to complete. My son loves snacking on them and my husband sneaks one in every time he passes the container in the kitchen. For that reason, I know they are good!

Let us know how your Goldfish adventure turned it!

You can contact me at themrszfiles@gmail.com.

Mother’s Day Project

May is always a month filled with birthdays and fun almost summer celebrations. Not only is my mom’s birthday in May, but my mother-in-law’s is in May as well (their birthdays are a day apart!). Their birthdays also happen to be about a week before Mother’s Day. So, when it comes to finding cute projects made by my little guy, I need to find them in one fell swoop. Grandma’s love homemade projects from their grandkids.

Today’s post is an easy, but really cute, project that any child can do. This is even young toddler easy.  Since Mother’s Day is this Sunday, this could be an activity that you and your little ones can do this week. You can even do it on Saturday  (the day before) it is that simple. I found this on Pinterest and tweaked it a little bit.

Here are the supplies you will need:

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1. Paint ( I used washable since it involves fingerpainting)

2. Thick paper (you can use cardstock or I used Watercolor Paper)

3. Letter Stickers or Masking tape

4. Picture Frame

The steps are as follows:

1. Choose what you want the picture to say. I chose to have it say “Love You Grammy”. The picture on pinterest  shows it says “Love”. Once you have chosen the saying, arrange the letters on the paper. You can get crafty in how you want to arrange them. Since this was my first time trying this, I took the easy route.

**The directions on the site said to use masking tape and create the letters that way. I tried and I couldn’t get the letters right. If you can do it, by all means use the masking tape. I decided on the stickers.**

2. Here is the part your child will love! Choose however many colors you want on the paper (we went with two). Then pour some on a paper plate and let your child dip their hands in the paint. Then let them fingerpaint away all over the paper.

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3. Once they have finished painting, let it dry. The paint I used took about an hour.

4. When the paint is dry peel the stickers off and you have an amazing painting created by your little one. You can choose to frame it like I did. Or you can leave it as is. (The site showed the project being done on a canvas. That may be something you choose to do.)

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There you go! This was such an easy project but extremely cute. Grandmas (and Moms) will love to display this in their house!

I hope you have fun with this project. Let us know if you changed the project in any way. And let us know of any other cute projects you may be doing for Mother’s Day. See you tomorrow!

You can contact me at themrszfiles@gmail.com.